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Takeaways from the first presidential debate

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Presidential debate
Presidential debate

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump squared off Monday for the first of three presidential debates.

HEMPSTEAD, New York (Diya TV) — Hillary Clinton stepped out onto Monday night’s debate stage determined to show the American people she is the only candidate capable of sitting in the Oval Office.

Clinton poked, prodded and quoted Trump’s own words, goading the famously thin-skinned Republican nominee. Trump took the bait, repeatedly interrupting angrily or dismissively throughout the night.

True to his previous form, Trump couldn’t resist the attack, even when it was obvious they would backfire — such as his criticism of Clinton for dropping off the campaign trail ahead of the debate to prepare. “Yes, I did. And you know what else I prepared for?” Clinton shot back. “I prepared to be president.”

Here are a few other takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates between the two:

Trump takes bait

Trump is the self-proclaimed counterpuncher, but it was Clinton whose restraint was on display: She waited for Trump to create an opening before she pounced.

Clinton watched as moderator Lester Holt grilled the billionaire real estate mogul about his refusal to release tax returns before delivering her own withering assessment of his insistence that a “routine audit” be completed first.

“Maybe he is not as rich as he says he is,” Clinton said. “Maybe he is not as charitable as he claims to be… Maybe he doesn’t want the American people to know that he has paid nothing in federal taxes.”

“There is something he is hiding,” she said.

Trump couldn’t hold his tongue any longer — and at a cost. He came close to admitting that he didn’t pay federal taxes, saying that “makes me smart” and that the money “would be squandered” anyway.

At another point, he insisted his refusal to pay contractors who’d done work for his businesses was smart. “I’m certainly relieved that my late father never did business with you,” Clinton said.

Trump, meanwhile, paid the price for his decision to wing it.

Despite opportunities to do so, he never hit Clinton on the 2012 Benghazi attacks or Clinton Foundation donors’ access to the State Department, and he only briefly mentioned her use of a private email server. All three attacks — elevated by Trump himself at his rallies — are at the core of the GOP case that Clinton is untrustworthy.

Trump’s pitch to blue-collar workers

Trump’s best and brightest were showcased early in the debate, when he invoked Clinton’s 2012 praise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership as the “gold standard” of trade deals. (Clinton now opposes the deal.)

“You were totally in favor of it,” Trump said. “Then you heard what I was saying, how bad it is, and you said, ‘I can’t win that debate.'”

It was part of a theme Trump attempted to make a heavy element of the debate early on: Clinton, he said, has been in Washington for nearly 30 years, and has done little to improve economic conditions for Americans — a message that could resonate in manufacturing-heavy states like Ohio and Pennsylvania that are crucial to Trump’s electoral math.

After a barrage of Trump attacks, Clinton sarcastically said, “I have a feeling that by, the end of this evening, I’m going to be blamed for everything that’s ever happened.”

Trump shot back: “Why not?”

Trump’s dance with the truth continued

Trump lied repeatedly Monday night — including a few real extreme occasions.

When Clinton claimed Trump “thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese,” Trump shot back: “I do not say that. I do not say that.”

Trump did say that. On November 6, 2012, Trump tweeted, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” It became the most-retweeted item on Twitter during the debate.

He called Holt’s factual citation of a 2002 interview in which Trump endorsed the war in Iraq “wrong, wrong, wrong,” as fact-checkers disagreed.

He falsely blamed Clinton for birtherism. He said murder rates in New York City are climbing, when they are on the decline. And he said Clinton had been fighting ISIS “her entire adult life.” Clinton was born in 1947; ISIS only formed in the mid-2000s.

They really don’t like each other

With two more debates in front of us, there’s only one thing that can be predicted: things are about to get a lot more ugly.

A preview of what’s in store came at the end, when Clinton — attacking Trump’s treatment of women — called him “a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs.” She said he’d referred to a Latina beauty contestant as “Miss Piggy. Then he called her Miss Housekeeping.”

An agitated Trump twice asked, “Where did you find this?”

The woman, 1996 Miss Universe Alicia Machado of Venezuela, told The New York Times and “Inside Edition” this year that Trump repeatedly mocked her weight.

Trump went into the spin room after the debate — a move unheard of at general election debates — and credited himself with not taking a shot at Bill Clinton’s extramarital affairs. He told Fox News conservative host and Trump supporter Sean Hannity afterward that it seemed inappropriate with Bill and Chelsea Clinton in the front row — but implied he might in the future.

The next debate between the two will be held on Oct. 9.

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FTX’s Nishad Singh got $543 million loan

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More fallout from the FTX cryptocurrency platform collapse. Court documents show its affiliate Alameda Research loaned executives like Sam Bankman Fried $1 billion and more than $500 million to Indian American Nishad Singh, FTX’s top engineer. FTX’s interim CEO says never in his career has he seen such complete failure of corporate controls and a complete absence of trustworthy financial information. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after it was unable to come up with customer funds.

Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison after her conviction in January for defrauding investors while running the failed blood testing start up Theranos.In her trial, Holmes alleged she was in the midst of a decade-long abusive relationship with her then-boyfriend and Theranos COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. The Indian American was also found guilty for his role in this fraud and will be sentenced later.

Starting next month, India will assume the G20 presidency for a year and chair more than 200 meetings, leading the way for global economic growth. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his country’s leadership here will be inclusive, ambitious, and decisive.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Arvind Venkat & Tarik Khan win Pennsylvania State seats

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WASHINGTON D.C. (Diya TV) – Looking back at the midterm elections, Arvind Venkat and Tarik Khan made history as the first South Asian Americans elected to the Pennsylvania State Legislature. Advocacy group Indian American Impact played a major role on the ground, saying it trained and mobilized 200 volunteers to go door-to-door, to engage voters and provide info they needed to elect new leadership.

After 35 years, the Nancy Pelosi era is officially coming to an end. The speaker from San Francisco announced she’s bowing out of leadership, but will retain her House seat. The midterms cost Pelosi’s Democratic party the House and effectively ended her speakership.

Two former Indian American executives at Meta Platforms will launch a new non fungible token start up for creators. Kirthiga Reddy and Saurabh Doshi have raised more than $8 million for their new company called Virtualness. But they are facing headwinds as the FTX cryptocurrency exchange collapse is putting pressure on the entire industry.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Meet FTX insider Nishad Singh

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The controversy around failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX continues to captivate the world. Part of the scrutiny is now on the people involved, including Indian American Nishad Singh. According to new reports, this techie was part of FTX’s inner circle, which lived together and ran the cryptocurrency empire from the Bahamas. The software engineer was also reportedly aware that FTX secretly transferred customer funds worth billions of dollars to its sister firm Alameda Research. Currently, no one is facing any criminal charges. Diya TV featured Singh more than a decade ago for running ultra marathons as a 17 year old getting ready for college. 

Former President Donald Trump has officially announced he is running for president in 2024, marking his third bid for the White House. Trump had been hinting at this announcement for months, as the embattled former president faces multiple criminal and civil litigations and as his party is grappling with a worse than expected showing in the midterm elections. 

At the G20 Summit in Bali, world leaders including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden are coming together to condemn the rising threat of nuclear weapons as Russia’s war against Ukraine continues to raise tension and anxiety around the world.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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